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Vin Diesel’s ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ Leads International Box Office

Vin Diesel’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” showed major muscle to lead the international marketplace with $50.5 million in 53 territories.

The action movie, from Paramount Pictures and Revolution Studios, finished first in 32 markets, performing 42 percent above “Kingsmen,” 4 percent above “San Andreas,” and on par with “G.I. Joe Retaliation.”

India generated the top number with $7.3 million including previews, followed by first-place launches in Russia with $5.5 million, France with $3.1 million, and Germany and Mexico with $2.8 million each. Australia generated $2.3 million in second place and Brazilian grosses were $2.2 million for a third-place finish.

“Xander Cage” will open in Korea on Feb. 9 and in China on Feb. 10. The film has an $85 million budget with backing from Chinese companies Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group, which limits Paramount’s exposure to about 50 percent. Paramount and the two companies announced a three-year $1 billion co-financing deal on Thursday.

“Xander Cage” stars Diesel as a skilled government operative character who debuted in the 2002 movie “xXx.” The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson and has a multinational cast that includes China’s Donnie Yen, India’s Deepika Padukone, Australia’s Ruby Rose, and Thailand’s Tony Jaa.

D.J. Caruso directs from a script by F. Scott Frazier, which centers on Diesel’s Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile in a race to recover a seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Diesel did not appear in the 2005 sequel “xXx: State of the Union.”

“Xander Cage” finished second at the U.S. box office to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” taking in $20 million domestically.

Lionsgate’s awards contender “La La Land” led the rest of the pack on the weekend’s international box office chart, compiled by comScore, taking in $16.6 million to push its foreign total to $83.7 million. The musical comedy-drama has topped $173 million worldwide.

Sony’s sci-fi romance “Passengers” followed in third with $13.4 million in 63 markets, lifting the international total to $175 million and the worldwide gross to nearly $270 million.

Disney’s animated adventure “Moana” followed in fourth with $12.9 million, pushing its international total to $272 million. “Moana” has topped $500 million worldwide.

South Korean crime thriller “The King,” starring Jo In-sung and Jung Woo-sung, finished fifth with $10.6 million in its opening weekend.

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